Talib Kweli & Styles P just released a seven track EP appropriately entitled The Seven, and the artists behind the classics Reflection Eternal & Gangsta & A Gentleman definitely prove that the different sub-genres of Hip Hop can coexist and create together. Truth be told Styles & Talib have always been conscious from the streets of New York (Yonkers and Brooklyn respectively), and while this collaboration may come off as unexpected, it’s all Hip Hop so it all makes sense.
Below the EP is critiqued track by track below, and all that needs to be said is Hip Hop is alive and well.
Poets & Gangstas
“Welcome to the conscious of the nation on hard beats, I rap to my heart beat, keepin time as my feet hit the concrete” Bars over nice production from Nottz, although I’d pass on the hook that ruins the momentum. It does have an ill introduction tho and penmanship is on point per usual
“I am a brown guy, but don't call me *****, please, ***** please, you see that white boy, that's a ***** b, ***** ain't a color, it's a mindstate, you diggin me? Maybe not, I get it tho, but all them white boys blowin weed they some ****** too, the difference is they got white privileges, cops will kill me but I doubt that they kill em too, this ain't a stab or a jab, but I'm feeling kinda mad they ain't treated like a villain too, his weed is good as mine, his gun bigger than mine, and he motherfucking chilling too, now if my color make you hate me then I hope you go blind and can't see what your children do, and that sound kinda harsh, but you would feel like I feel if you had black children too” all that should be known is that The Ghost absolutely bodies this… bodied and the production by Oh No (real name Michael Jackson) is nothing short of incredible
Nine Point Five ft NIKO IS, Sheek Louch & Jadakiss
“No more tears, right now no more years, and we could throw a million protests, no one cares, 'cause we just get all out of character and throw some chairs, eventually they burn us out and tell us ‘go somewhere’” Jada 🔥🔥🔥 and Talib’s in his bag as well with a Mobb Deep reference that sets the tone for one of his best verses on the project.
In The Field
“Yeah there's black on black crime, but there's white on white crime, when you adjust for population all the numbers they align, so why we never hear white on white on the nightly news? Ain't no profiting over criminalizing white dudes, poverty breeds criminals but watch what you call me, because if I'm a criminal what about bankers on Wall Street?” Facts… and they both murder this Oh No instrumental, coming with the facts that they don’t talk about
Teleprompters ft Vic Orena & Common
“Street sounds, playing for keeps, it's the way we impeach, dead presidents, yo print your money out, ***** had paper, so we took the money route” Common contributes a nice 16 but the lackluster hook doesn’t make this an enjoyable listen. Styles absolutely does flex on this however.
Let It Burn ft Rapsody & Chris Rivera
“All praises due to Allah, but we worship the dollar, so what we gonna do for Jihad?, I was hard in the booth of the yard the hallway, and I got wise, gave a little juice to the gods” CLASSIC STYLES…. Lowkey the Ghost deserves more respect on my Top 20 MCs list… last year i had Jada at 16 but this year we’re making some changes cause Styles needs to be on there… on this one it almost sounds like a track left over the Gangster & A Gentleman days thanks to the vintage production from Krysis, this is cypher material to say the least.
“Recognize greatness, tenacious, gracious, mark of design, the new Matrix, I can make Dr. Strange brain look basic, MCs on the dinner menu and I ain't ate shit” The Ghost 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
In conclusion Hip Hop is alive and well and now the fans need to acknowledge the real and support it, yet before we sign off let me add something that may be a little controversial, Styles right now is in such a zone that the conventional styles of Jada & Sheek may have been holding him back on the last LOX lp. Not that it wasn’t fire and of course Jada in particular is one of the GOATS, but from a content standpoint I was looking for more on that record, material more consistent with the substance they put into their interviews. With that being said it’s been extremely refreshing to hear Styles do collaborations with Talib on this one and more recently the Bay Area’s Berner, where nostalgia aside Styles P is cooking all types of vets and rookies in this game with relative ease.